Polyamory in the News!
. . . by Alan M.

February 2, 2020

New survey: "Millennials are less likely to want a monogamous relationship"

YouGov, a polling operation known for middling-good accuracy for elections, just announced results of a survey asking people about their preferred relationship style on a scale from monogamy to total openness. It's a followup to a similar survey that asked the same questions in 2016. From the press release:

A January poll of more than 1,300 US adults finds that about one-third (32%) of US adults say that their ideal relationship is non-monogamous to some degree.

Millennials (43%) are particularly likely to say their ideal relationship is non-monogamous, though an equal percentage (43%) of this generation says that their ideal relationship is completely monogamous.

YouGov’s data suggests that Americans as a whole might be gradually warming up to the idea of non-monogamy.

When asked in September 2016 about their ideal relationship, 61 percent said it would be completely monogamous. In January 2020, that number has dropped slightly, to 56 percent.

The survey also confirmed that many partnered Americans are already in non-monogamous relationships:

Among US adults who are in a relationship, 23 percent say their current relationship is non-monogamous to some degree. About three in ten Millennials (31%) in a relationship say their relationship is non-monogamous. Of this group, 8 percent define their relationship as “completely non-monogamous.”

When asked about how they would feel if a partner came to them wanting to engage in sexual activity with someone else, most Americans (67%) say they wouldn’t be okay with this. Just 6 percent say that they would be okay with this, while 17 percent say their comfort with this would depend on the details of the situation.

Millennials (56%) are less likely than members of Generation X (69%) and Baby Boomers (74%) to say they would not be okay with this under any circumstances. Just over one in five Millennials (22%) chose “Whether or not I am okay with it depends on the situation,” while 9 percent said they would be okay with it.

See full survey results here [PDF file], and full results from the 2016 survey here.

The YouGov release, with more graphs (Jan. 31, 2020).

A lot of interesting stuff shows up in the tables of the full results, especially comparing with the September 2016 survey. Three that caught my attention:

● More women than men say their ideal relationship is "completely monogamous" (65% of women vs. 47% of men in 2020, down from 76% vs. 66% in 2016), which supports the usual stereotype of what men vs. women want and undermines some recent claims otherwise. Also, in the last 3¼ years, interest in nonmonogamy rose almost twice as fast among men as women, so the 2016 imbalance has almost doubled. Uh-oh.

This means that when dating, it's more important than ever to clarify very early whether you offer each other compatible relationship styles.

● Contrary to conservative panic that morally degenerate elites are modeling consensual nonmonogamy to the stricter, more religious lower classes who can't handle it, the survey finds that both the desire for monogamy and the practice of it increase with education and income.

● In the South, where religious and social conservatism has its strongest lock on politics, monogamy is no more people's "ideal relationship type" than it is in the liberal Northeast. And monogamy is only slightly more people's actual ideal than in the West, where many of America's social and sexual innovations first bubbled up.


P.S.: The Poly Living Convention is this weekend (Feb. 7–9) in Philadelphia. Register online or at the door. Day passes available. See you there!




Blogger John U said...

How do you rate this survey, on a scale of 0 to 6, where 0 is completely non-ridiculous and 6 is completely ridiculous?

This survey begs the question of how one gets to be completely non-monogamous. Is it like getting enough merit badges to become an eagle scout? Let's see, I've got my couples dating, living in a thruple, non-hierarchy, and poly camp badges, but do I still need to get my group sex and BDSM badges? How many kinds of seeing sex worker badges are there?

February 02, 2020 5:29 PM  

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